I haven’t read much historical fiction – aside from what Phillippa Gregory has written – so The Golden Widows felt like new territory to me. As someone who has practically no knowledge of British history, The Golden Widows was difficult to start and keep up (it took me several months to finish, but that’s a fault of mine, not the book’s), but closer to the end, I enjoyed it. This was especially after I did a quick Wikipedia read about Elizabeth Woodville and Kate Neville – I felt like when I learned about their futures and their significance in the dynastic wars, did I feel they were part of something greater, which led me to be more interested about the conclusion of the book.
I really enjoyed Kate Neville’s narrative – not only for its depth and exploration of her character, her innermost feelings and her emotional conflict, but also because of the consistent pacing of her character and story development. In contrast, Elizabeth’s narrative focuses largely on her struggles as a woman situated on the opposing end of the war. Both narratives offer interesting and relevant insights to what it was like to be a woman during these times, especially how women were used as pawns in your family’s struggle for power, status or survival.
The book was well-written, and I liked how Martyn fleshes out the characters, especially Hastings, Tom and Kate. Admittedly, my rating of this book is largely because of my illiteracy in British history, and so I could not appreciate this book more – needless to say, that’s of my own fault, not of Martyn’s. However, this book has certainly piqued my interest in British history, especially about the women in British history. All in all, if you’re interested in British history, especially the War of the Roses, I recommend this book.
Book Name: The Golden Widows
Author: Isolde Martyn
Publisher: Harlequin Mira